Match Preview: Box Hill Set For Swans Showdown

Get set for a massive day of footy at Box Hill City Oval as the Hawks host the Swans in VFL and VFLW action!

Who: Sydney
Where: Box Hill City Oval
When: Sunday – VFL at 12:05pm; VFLW at 3:35pm
Radio: 3WBC, 94.1FM
TV/Streaming: available to stream via the VFL match centre
Box Hill: played 4, won 3, lost 1 – 2nd on the ladder
Sydney: played 3, won 1, drawn 1, lost 1 – 13th on the ladder


Second placed on the VFL ladder, the Box Hill Hawks’ high-flying, undefeated and ladder-leading VFLW program take on the second-placed Swans from 3:35pm.

Entry to Box Hill City Oval is free from three quarter time of the day’s first match-up, scheduled to start at 12:05pm.

A Little Bit of History

Played: 2 – Box Hill 1, Sydney 1

The Hawks and Swans have met just twice in VFL action – once at Tramway Oval and once at Box Hill City Oval – with each side boasting a one-and-one record in head-to-head competition.

The first clash between the brown & gold and red & white took place in the final round of the 2022 season. It turned out to be a dirty day for a Box Hill side who weren’t yet guaranteed a finals berth.

The Hawks came into the match with an 11 and six record, knowing a win would lock in finals football, while the Swans boasted a 12 and five record and were well in the mix for the double chance.

By day’s end Sydney’s 57-point win ensured they’d done enough to hold off Gold Coast for fourth, while Box Hill were left to sweat on the outcome of Richmond’s encounter with Frankston. Fortunately, the Dolphins were able to keep the Tigers honest and the Hawks claimed eighth place on percentage. 

Liam Shiels and Cal Porter claimed 67 disposals, 12 tackles and 19 clearances between each other, while Ben Cavarra was superb with four goals from 15 disposals in a virtuoso performance up forward.

Ed Phillips and Damian Mascitti did their level best to hold back the tide, tallying 27 and 26 touches respectively, but when your team has just three goal kickers for the match you’re giving yourself an awful lot to do. 

At the end of the day it was the Swans’ tall timber which proved too much to handle, as Joel Amartey and Hayden McLean combined for seven goals. Peter Ladhams chimed in with 16 touches and 18 hit-outs, Callum Sinclair provided 10 touches and three marks, and dangerous small forward Ben Ronke sunk the boots in with three goals of his own.

Matt Roberts was Sydney’s chief ball-winner on the day, racking up 37 touches, while James Bell had 28, Harry Cunningham 18 and Braeden Campbell 17.

The two sides next squared off in round one of the following season, but on this occasion it was the Hawks who claimed a measure of revenge and the four points.

To be fair, it was a sensationally watchable, competitive game of footy from the first siren to the last, as the Hawks lead narrowly at every change before running away with the game late on.

Debutant Jed Rule kicked four vital goals for the Hawks, while enigmatic livewire Jaylon Thorpe was integral with three majors of his own.

Co-captain Cal Porter was arguably best man on the ground by virtue of his 28 touches, six tackles and 12 clearances, while Seamus Mitchell’s return of 30 disposals and nine marks meant he was an assured and sometimes aggressive option off half back.

Cal Brown was excellent in his first match for Box Hill, while Tyler Brockman was similarly important with three goals of his own.

Seven points ahead at quarter time, six points in front at the half and just two points to the good come the final change, Box Hill kicked 5.3 to the Swans 1.2 in the final half-hour to run away 27-point winners.

2023 So Far

The Hawks rebounded from a disappointing showing against The Suns in round three to record a resounding victory against North Melbourne in round four.

Tight until late in the second term, Box Hill slammed on three goals unanswered goals in time on to gap the Roos, before kicking away to a 10-goal win in the second half. 

Max Hall was sensational in amassing 32 touches, kicking two goals, laying nine tackles and winning three clearances, Josh Ward pressed his claims for a senior recall with two goals of his own from 27 touches and Cal Porter was typically busy and effective with 22 touches and six clearances. 

There was plenty of joy for the forwards, too, as Calsher Dear’s fine start to life at VFL level continued with four goals, while Sam Butler chimed in with three of his own. Daniel Wood and Andreas Stefanakis joined Hall and Ward with two apiece.

At the other end of the ground Ethan Phillips made things look easy as he clunked a game-high 17 marks, while it was fantastic to see Stu Horner make his first appearance of the 2024 season alongside him.   

Added to impressive wins against Casey and Geelong to start the year, the result moved Box Hill from 6th into 2nd place on the VFL ladder ahead of an exciting stretch of matches against Sydney, Footscray, Sandringham and the Brisbane Lions – a run which could go a long way towards setting up their season. 

As for the Swans, they’ve managed a win, a loss and a draw to start the season and sit in 13th spot on the ladder.

They opened their campaign with a comfortable win over Coburg in Sydney, followed up with a close-run 12-point loss to the Tigers and Punt Rd, and played out a thrilling draw against the reigning premier Gold Coast Suns last Sunday.

A goal to the good at three quarter time, the Swans trailed the Suns by two points as the clock ticked past 30 minutes at the SCG. Minor scores from the boots of Jacob Konstanty and Jake Bartholomaeus would eventually tie the scores before time finally expired with the sides deadlocked at 60-apiece. 

Angus Sheldrick was a standout contributor for the hosts with 30 touches, 10 marks and five clearances, while Konstanty kicked three important goals and Caleb Mitchell tallied 25 touches, eight marks and two goals.

Selection News

The Hawks have made four changes to the side which accounted for North Melbourne last weekend, gaining the experienced Chad Wingard, young midfielder Henry Hustwaite, and tall duo Ned Reeves and Max Ramsden.

Out of the side go the injured pair Cooper Stephens and Clay Tucker, while developing VFL-listed prospects Kye Agosta and Josh Tovey are unlucky to be squeezed out. 

Pleasingly, with Stu Horner having returned last week, Wingard available from this week, Ben Cavarra closing in on a comeback in the very new future and several players at Hawthorn nearing full fitness, the upcoming 4-6 weeks shape as exciting from a selection standpoint. 

One(s) to Watch

It’s hard to go past the returning Chad Wingard, isn’t it…

The All-Australian small forward makes his remarkable return to footy just 259 days after rupturing his Achilles tendon against the Bulldogs last August.

Chad played two games for Box Hill in 2023 and was a wonderful addition on and off-field. It goes without saying everyone will be wishing him the very best for his return to action. 

How To Follow

Match coverage will be provided via our social channels throughout the day, while a radio call will be available via our wonderful community partners 3WBC 94.1FM.

Where To Watch

You can catch the live stream via the VFL’s match centre! The first bounce is scheduled for 2:05pm


Membership, as always, is the best way to support the Box Hill Hawks in 2024!

You can purchase your 2024 Box Hill Hawks membership via this link

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